Hey Everyone, Thanks for Tuning In!
I took a break from writing for my personal blog to dedicate myself entirely to my professional career with Orca Empire. Now that I have grooved a a somewhat better routine, I am so thrilled to be back and providing some content back here!
Since beginning with Orca back in June, I have become more consistent in my actions toward creating the “optimal” lifestyle I want to live. Between harnessing technique adjustments, adopting new out of the ‘norm’ training modalities, and most importantly listening to my body to try and give exactly what it would ask for (if it had a voice, which would hopefully sound like Sean Connery). But, there is one huge adjustment that has made the largest impact on my everyday life that doesn’t require any athletic or fitness inclination at all:
I’m not talking about some shitty diet fad, eliminating fats and carbohydrates completely out, or munching on ice cubes and pencil shavings throughout the day to fight the hunger urge. Sure, those will get you to “lose weight”, technically, but your internal functioning systems will cringe and scream with agony without getting the essential nutrients they need! In this wonderful time we are living in, the healthy lifestyle habits are on the rise! And for that reason, it is no mystery that eating healthy is expensive, and it’s absolutely true to an extent (that will be a whoole topic for another day). The upper echelon of optimizing your body is definitely costly, but that is not the only option. There are a variety of ways to begin making changes right away without emptying your pantry or wallet that will make a tremendous impact on your health!
Nutrient Dense Fruits & Vegetables
If you don’t like them, it’s time to grow up and eat your damn vegetables! This is a nutrient source that can’t be replaced or filled with some powder shake or super pill.
Aside from the individual benefits each offers on their own, they help eliminate the onset of Coronary Heart Disease; meaning the more of them that you consume them, the greater chance you avoid CHD! Try to add vibrant colors (no, not like Skittles) to your plate each meal. Actually, did you know that the color a fruit or vegetable actually has a meaning? Oh yeah! Those super foods use their color to indicate which type of disease fighting phytonutrients they contain!
Greens: Strengthen Bones/Teeth, Improve Vision Health, Decrease Risk of Cancers & Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Reds: Improve Heart Health, Memory, Urinary Function, Decreased Risk of Cancers
Orange/Yellow: Carry Bioflavonoids, Carotenoids & Antioxidants, Assist Heart Health, Strengthen Immune System
White: (Contain Allicin) – Active in Healing Ulcers & an Anti-Microbial Against Virus’, Bacteria, & Yeast
Purple/Blue: Abundant in Antioxidants, Improved Memory, Urinary Tract Function, Healthy Natural Aging & Anti-Aging Effects
Sure, eating any particular amount of each during the day will give you some of the benefits these spectacular foods. But, if you really want to obtain all, you need to include about a cup per day of each color! Unfortunately, many are ignorant to the amount we actually fit into our daily consumption. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are responsible for collecting dietary information and intake frequency across America. They conducted a study in 2013 to find what percentage of children and adults were meeting the standard consumption of fruits and vegetables, and the results may shock you:
These results indicate that <18% of adults in each state consumed the recommended amount of fruit and <14% consumed the recommended amount of vegetables. Increased attention to food environments in multiple settings, including child care, schools, communities, and worksites, might help improve fruit and vegetable intake, and thus help prevent chronic disease.
Because fruit and vegetable consumption affects multiple health outcomes (1) and is currently low across all states, continued efforts are needed to increase demand and consumption. Improving fruit and vegetable consumption for adults might start with improving intake during childhood.During 2007–2010, 60% of children consumed fewer cup equivalents of fruit than recommended, and 93% consumed fewer vegetables than recommended (2).
If you are upset as I am over these painfully low numbers, grab a tissue, clear you eyes, and listen up! There is a foolproof way to intake a boat load of your daily intake with just one solution:
Every day, regardless of what meals I consume, one of these bad boys always enters my system. It is a foolproof way to load my body up with essential nutrients I may have missed out on, or just to give myself a rush of sweet, savory goodness.
The staples I ALWAYS aim to include are:
- 1 Heaping Handful of Kale/Spinach
- 2-3 Other types of veggies; Usually Cucumber, Peppers, Beets, Celery, or Carrot
- A sprinkle of an herb; Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, Thyme
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1 ½ tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4-6oz Non-Dairy Milk; I prefer Hemp, but as of late its been Macadamia Nut Milk
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Raw Honey
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Heaping Spoonful of Unsalted Cashew Butter
- Dime sized pieces of Ginger and Turmeric
- 1 Packet of Four Sigmatic Chaga Mushroom Elixir
Phew! Those are the staples that keep my internal engine running efficiently, and to maintain gut health. Those are all extremely attainable, and can be found at every grocery store, making that totally doable for anyone! To keep them interesting and to find my favorite combination, I have some additional ingredients that are tossed in as my mood, training, and availability allows:
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Hemp Based Protein
- European Elderberries
- Honey Bee Pollen (eliminated my severe need for allergy medication)
- Maca Root Powder
- Moringa Leaf Powder
- Sunflower Lecithin
- Hemp/Chia/Flax Seeds
- Assorted Fruits (Banana, Kiwi, Blueberry or Apple usually)
- Cacao Powder
- High % Dark Chocolate Nibs (just to hit that sweet-gasm)
- Raw Almond, Cashew, Brazil Nut, Walnut (if cashew butter is MIA 🙁)
I think I might have forgotten a few select items, but believe it not, that’s it! As you can see, it is loaded up with things you might never have heard of. It was only within the past 18 months or so I added these consistently into my weekly routine; and it has made a tremendous impact on my strength and endurance performance, mood, mental stamina/clarity, lean tissue mass development… basically all of the “stuff” we want to be “good”.
If you want to find some info for some of these magical and mysterious add-ins you saw above, I’ve provided hyperlinks for each bulletted items by clicking on their name! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing this, thanks for tuning in!
Yours in Great Health and Strength,